The British tech sector is booming as growth soars to levels not seen since the glory days of 2004.
That's the key finding in KPMG and Markit's latest Tech Monitor UK report, which charts the fortunes of Blighty's technology industry.
Analysts found that business activity posted above a crucial no-change threshold for the sixteenth month in a row, which essentially means the sector has been burgeoning for almost a year and a half.
Despite the "soft patch" reported in the summer of 2012, tech output has "now accelerated to its fastest since reported in February 2004".
Tudor Aw, head of technology at KPMG, said: “These figures prove once more that the UK tech sector is going from strength to strength. The last quarter of 2013 saw the sector’s best growth performance in almost a decade, with a sharp increase in business activity, a rise in new orders and an increase in profitability despite higher costs. More importantly the sector showed again solid rates of job creation, well above the rates in other sectors of the economy.
“UK tech companies are also more confident about the business outlook than firms in other industry sectors,” added Aw, “with growth expectations at tech companies well above the UK private sector average, underlining the impact the sector has on the country’s economic performance and the important role tech companies play in the burgeoning recovery."
Aw claimed the report also destroyed the myth that the "UK lags behind the US tech sector", as trends in UK tech business activity closely match the performance of the Nasdaq.
The other findings of the report, which focused on the fourth quarter of 2013, were that British firms reported the fastest increase in their profitability in six years. Some 44 per cent of companies said they expected to hire more staff in the year ahead, while just 7 per cent expected to shed employees.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, added: “Improving economic conditions across developed markets and rising domestic business sentiment have helped propel the UK tech sector to its fastest growth performance for almost a decade.
“Most encouragingly, our figures suggest that the tech sector has provided a positive contribution to recent falls in UK unemployment, as tech companies reported taking on extra staff at a solid clip during the final quarter of 2013." ®